October 7, 2023

Who are Twisted Rose, I hear you thinking….They are a rock quartet from Giebelstadt in Germany, who have previously done a fair bit of “tribute” work, heavily influenced by AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, and are looking to progress in the rock world with their own compositions. They’ve been rocking international stages since 2018 and have already had several successes with their releases, achieving “bestsellers” in the Amazon sale charts. And so to the band members – Up front we have the charming, powerful voice of singer Caro, alongside Chris Bones on the guitar, Bass player Tino and drummer Luggy.

They achieved their first live successes, among other things, with their appearance at the wrestling event “Extreme”, where they were able to convince the fans of this tough sport with their hard rock sound. The affinity for wrestling is no coincidence, after all, guitarist Chris Bones was once a pro-wrestler himself. In addition to music, he works in a field that has often found its way into the lyrics of various rock and metal bands: He’s the manager of a funeral home….

So! You could be forgiven for thinking there might be source material for lyrics here…especially when you consider they used to regularly be the support band for GraveDigger! However, it should be pointed out that the songs are not created in the mortuary at Chris Bones’ workplace, but in the modern, well-equipped studio in Giebelstadt.

The band don’t shy away from comparison with their heroes and influences, as fans of their energetic live shows will testify. And so to the music – Greed4Speed opens the album, it’s just like an AC/DC song but with a female lead singer – a great, chugg-along riff drives the thing like an out-of-control robot, and Caro belts it out like she was born to the role….which she obviously is, it’s a cracking start! Wanted is next, a fairly standard rock track but featuring a great chorus which has Caro sounding like the amazing Nicoletta Rosellini from Walk In Darkness – rare praise indeed!

The recent single Bring Back Those Days is different. Instead of the signature hard riffs, guitarist Chris is in calmer mode here. The deliberately chosen retro sound transports the listener back to the atmosphere of old times. Wrapped in the warm, slightly smoky voice of Caro, you revel with her in the memories of happy childhood days, first loves and the great “what-ifs” of each person’s life. A touch of poignancy certainly, but addictively so, and also a sort of cozy warmth….it’s a strong song.

Say Hello takes us back to The Land of Boogie, its decent enough if a little derivative. Crossing The Line is a slow, dark ballad, it again reminds me strongly of Walk In Darkness, its resonant chords and powerful vocals capture that same slightly mysterious mood, a really strong track.

Back To The Old Days…pure Status Quo, ’nuff said! Friday Night Blues, is exactly that, a four bar blues workout straight out of the bar-room. It’s another good vehicle for Caro’s voice even if you feel you’ve heard the song, or something very like it, a thousand times before! In an similar sense, Party Time is another tribute song to AC/DC or early Faces. Rock You Away is better, still the signature riff-along but done with verve and a degree of originality. Sort of Pat Benatar maybe?

Rose-Skull has an intriguingly different sort of “tribal” intro before the standard chuggarama kicks in. It’s okay and tuneful enough, with strong vocals although the lyrics sound a bit hackneyed and I badly wanted to hear some different chords by this point! We Cant Get Enough gives a change in pace – it’s slower, and the Benatar-esque vocals are as strong as ever, but its STILL the same chords!

World Is Burning is the last track, this is SO much better for being a semi-acoustic ballad, with lovely, powerful singing, I love this. It builds strongly, an altogether more accomplished composition, I do think the band needs to explore their wider ambitions along these sorts of lines, they’re very talented, they just need to push the boundaries a bit more.

So – in conclusion, Cherry Tales is a fierce fusion of raw energy, heart-pounding rhythms, really great singing…it’s just the slightly monotonous riffs that left me getting twitchy in the middle part of the album. I do think this band has a lot of promise though, they just need to get more creative, now they’ve moved out of their “comfort zone” of being a tribute band?